GMES, the European contribution to the international Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), will provide accurate, up-to-date and globally-available information on an operational basis to European, national, regional and local entities, enabling them to develop services and applications related to land, sea/ocean and atmospheric monitoring as well as to emergency response and security.
ESA is the main partner to the European Union in GMES and develops new dedicated satellites, called Sentinels, and procures recurrent models. The five Sentinel families under development since 2007 will feature radar and super-spectral imaging as well as ocean and atmospheric monitoring capacities. In addition, ESA will take the role of interim operator of Sentinel-1, -2 and -3 (land part) while EUMETSAT will be the operator of Sentinel-3 (marine part), -4 and -5.
The Sentinels missions are primarily designed to provide routine observations for operational services. However, considering the manifold instrumentations with different spectral and spatial resolutions, the global coverage with high revisit times, and the long-term operational commitments, the Sentinel missions are also very attractive for studying and monitoring processes relevant for various scientific disciplines with time-scales up to several years.
The session is intended to provide an overview of the programme’s activities, provide technical outlines of the Sentinel missions and emphasises the usefulness of the missions for different Earth science disciplines including preliminary results from preparatory activities.